Home > Ideas > Is the Prospect ready to buy?

Is the Prospect ready to buy?

Many Sales Professionals end the business period – month, quarter or year – with a shortfall in their quotas; what causes this? A quick review would reveal that some of the “sure fire” orders they were expecting did not materialize – either the prospect said that it would take more time or they need more information to decide or the Decision-maker indicated that the purchase need not be made now!

So what was it that the Sales Professional had seen that made him or her believe that the order will be closed as per his expectation?

Flip this situation and think “What would make you purchase a product or service?” or “Why do you postpone a purchase?”

The answer would be one or more of these:

–          Although inconvenient, the present solution is still serving your requirement

–          The new solution seems to be over specified and is not required now

–          The new solution will mean retraining or re-adjustment – which can upset life / work

–          You do not have the requisite funds.

–          You do not have the approval to make the purchase this year.

–          For now you have decided to tolerate the problem and carry on without a change.

Is it possible that your customer isn’t buying for the same reason? Usually people buy when they can’t go on any further with the situation remaining the way it is at present – change is warranted; when that happens organisations and people would go for the purchase regardless of the expense and the re-adjustment needed.

How can you as the seller make the prospect foresee the situation as given in the previous paragraph and take action to counter any potential problems?

If the prospect is only casually interested in your solution – he is in information gathering or window shopping mode – you will not be able to close the deal. Only when there is a major concern or worry about things getting out of control that people make the decision to change. Have you assessed the real situation? It is not enough that the client is friendly, eager to know more and seems inclined to buy.

Can you take the prospect to that point where he understands and accepts unequivocally that he needs what you have on offer?

Your classification of prospects into Cold, Warm and Hot would depend on this factor – he is weakly interested, he is strongly interested or he cannot do without it.

While on a Sales call your interest should be to understand as quickly as possible where the prospect can be placed on the above spectrum and until you can get the person to Stage–3 there is low chance of any business materializing.

So the next time you achieve your target or fall short check where you get your business from and where you had slipped – analyse the reasons for purchase or for dropping the plan – and you would get your answers.

As Sales Professional it’s your job to take the Prospect to “I do!” But before you pop the question study the mood and your chances of getting an answer in the affirmative.

To avoid failure and pain it’s best that you assess the situation thoroughly before making a forecast.

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  1. May 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I like your suggestion to Flip the situation to see what would make me buy or not buy.

    • JayadevM
      May 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you, Shoba!

      A reversal of roles usually provides a fresh perspective and clarifies a lot of things.

  2. Jamy
    May 3, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Good one Jay, the sales pro.. 🙂

  3. Sajan
    May 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Quite relevant to the time of the year Jaydev. Agreed that its certainly wise for sales persons place their bet on the warm cases…however I wonder if one can assume a deal as done unless the contract is actually singed. Quite often it seems that a deal that is just waiting to be signed from the clients end save for procedural delays seems to take ever to close.

    • JayadevM
      May 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Sajan

      It’s not as bad as that all the time. Yes, there is many a slip between the cup and the lip and there can be delays at the 11.9999 th hour.

      But that happens because the Sales Exec has not accurately classified the status of the prospect. He thinks it’s Hot when the Customer may be lukewarm.

      When the customer gives you the clear indication that he is buying and when the necessary clearances are given there shouldn’t be a hiccup – many Sales Executives are not able to judge this well and hence the wayward forecasts!

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